Turkeys are going to be harder to get this Thanksgiving. Here’s why.
As the holiday season approaches, experts are seeing rising prices on Thanksgiving meal staples because of supply chain issues and bird flu.
Economists explained shoppers will have access to all of the holiday fixings, but it’s likely people will pay more for less.
“There’s been a flock of six to eight turkeys that are just wandering around the neighborhood and hanging out in neighbor’s yards and my yard,” Melissa Hysing, grocery shopper, said.
Turkeys trotting through the streets of Minnesota are a common sight, but experts predict seeing them on the shelves in the grocery store could be a challenge.
Bird flu is to blame.
“Looking at the spring and the fall, those were the high trend points for those cases. It’s come down a lot since then,” Grant Genovese, St. Paul emergency management specialist, said.
Genovese works for the city of St. Paul and studies bird flu trends in Minnesota. He explained if more turkeys are infected, fewer are on the shelves.
“It is unfortunate that we are seeing the effects of bird flu impact prices and availability of turkeys,” Genovese said. “It’s just an adjustment that we have to make, and we want to make sure everyone is safe.”
Bird flu is just a fraction of the problem.
Michael Boland, an applied economics professor at the University of Minnesota, explained labor costs that run the turkey houses and delivery costs to get the turkeys back and forth are driving up prices in the grocery store.
Turkey prices are flying higher this year at $1.47 per pound. That’s nearly a 28% increase compared to last year.
“You may decide to do something different. If you’re cooking a turkey at home, maybe a supplemental lightweight turkey, a ham, some other meat or non-protein meat,” Boland said.
Consumers will likely see these trends in grocery stores and also restaurants while dining in or taking Thanksgiving food to go.
Experts said prices will be higher, but businesses are getting creative with adding other menu items to give people more for their money.